Free Agency has been kind to a lot of people this year. There are two centers in particular that I think will be in terrific positions to outperform their ADP in NBA Fantasy drafts this year. Let’s get into it!
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I’m projecting these two centers to average a double-double, with points and rebounds.
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics
I’ve been talking a lot about the Celtics lately. I just recently wrote an article that they should be knocking down DeMarcus Cousins’ door trying to sign him and get him to play legitimate minutes for the team, and I’ve been singing Payton Pritchard’s praises, as well. One reason the Celtics may not try and sign DMC is that they just signed Robert Williams to a 4 year/$54M deal. The deal will put the 23-year-old among the top half of centers in the NBA in terms of annual dollars. That’s a bold move from first-year GM, Brad Stevens. Also bold for someone who averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds in under 20 minutes per game. To me, the only reason they would do this would be if they thought he was ready to make a jump. Brad Stevens didn’t play him, but their new coach will after this contract. Per 36 minutes, Williams would be averaging 15 points, 13 boards, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. I don’t know that he’ll get 36 minutes, but he’ll certainly play with the starters. Expect big things from Williams.
Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
We are about to enter the first full year of the Brooklyn super team experience. One thing I learned from last year was that Steve Nash preferred the rim running, high-energy minutes of Nic Claxton to DeAndre Jordan. I don’t know that that’s the best thing for team morale, considering Kyrie and KD wanted Jordan on the team and he was a building block to getting this entire thing started, but it’s definitely best for the team’s play. In his rookie year, Claxton averaged 4 points and 3 rebounds on 12 minutes per game. Last year, he was playing 18 minutes per game and jumped to a modest 7 points and 5 boards. This year, I think we should be prepared for a starter’s workload. His per 36 averages would put him at 13 points and 10 boards per game. I’d take the under on 36 minutes per game, but his energy style could easily put him at those averages in 25+ minutes per game. Especially in this high pace offense where there will be plenty of possessions. Make sure to snag Claxton in the mid-to-late rounds.
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